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How This New House Bill about Recreational Marijuana Stores Could Impact Kids

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When Colorado voters legalized marijuana, they may not have envisioned the ways the products and its marketing would evolve. Today’s marijuana products come in various forms and their potency is far higher than the weed of past eras. Meanwhile, youth are exposed to unprecedentedly aggressive marketing of these new products.

In a column in the Colorado Politics newsletter, Smart Colorado Executive Director Henny Lasley chronicled how the marijuana industry has continually tried to expand marijuana commercialization through the legislative process since the 2012 passage of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado. “Marijuana commercialization in Colorado is linked to higher rates of youth use,” Lasley wrote. “Denver and Pueblo, the epicenters of commercialization, have significantly higher rates of youth marijuana consumption than the state as a whole, according to state data.”

Yet the effort by some in the industry to push the boundaries of what’s allowed is unrelenting, as illustrated by two bills that Smart Colorado has opposed this session.

The first proposal, which would created a pilot program for marijuana delivery, was defeated in a Senate Committee hearing last week.  Smart Colorado highlighted how 18-20 year olds are able to buy medical marijuana and then share it with youth. The proponents had refused to consider an amendment to carve out delivery to 18-20 year olds. We thank Senators Fields, Cooke and Gardner for their leadership by voting against the bill.

The second measure that concerns Smart Colorado is House Bill 1258, which is pending in the state Senate.

Take Action

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper now is the only person who can stop legislation that could dramatically increase stoned driving and marijuana commercialization, endangering the state’s kids.

Please take a moment now to contact the governor and urge him to veto Colorado House Bill 1258, which would allow recreational marijuana stores to open facilities where products could be used on site.  This bill will change the landscape now and for the future of Colorado by dramatically increasing marijuana commercialization.

As our letter to Hickenlooper states, the measure would increase drugged driving, which is already a growing problem in Colorado.  In addition, it could allow for the doubling of recreational marijuana storefronts in some communities.

The governor also needs to hear from you.

Here’s an easy-to-use online form you can use to speak out against HB 1258. To express your opposition to the bill please:

  • Check the box that says your comment relates to proposed legislation.

  • In the Bill# field type “HB 1258”.

  • Choose the “Against” option in the next field.

  • Write “Please veto HB 1258” in the subject field.

Then use the “Comments” field to explain why you oppose the bill. Feel free to make any or all of the following points by copying these statements or using your own words.

I oppose this bill because it would lead to increased stoned driving, endangering all Coloradans. Marijuana-related DUIs and fatalities are on the rise.

It also would allow for a dramatic increase in marijuana commercialization, which bombards kids with marijuana marketing. In communities that opt in, retail pot shops could open twice as many locations. We’ve learned from alcohol and tobacco that greater access leads to increased youth use.

Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado states: “[N]othing in this section shall permit consumption that is conducted openly and publicly or in a manner that endangers others.” This bill runs contrary to those constitutional protections.

Please protect Colorado children by vetoing HB 1258. Thank you.

-Smart Colorado

 

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